WORK AND PLAY SERIES: JACK WILLIAMS
ENTREPRENEUR / CRAFT BEER BREWER
The Black Rock motto is ‘Tight lines, good times’ and founder, Jack, applies this to everything in his adventurous life in Falmouth.
Setting up and running a successful bar and iconic craft beer brewery, he’s a hard working lad! To keep the balance, Jack makes the most of the surrounding coastlines, cycling, fishing, sailing and camping.
Why did you start crafting things?
My desire to start crafting was part of a growing, slow burning desire to make something material and tangible with my own two hands; and also the timing was just right: I'd just completed a major project, and I saw a huge opportunity for my next one.
What does it mean to you?
Oh man, it means the world! The craft and art of making beer is totally encompassing, and then there's the rest of the wake-till-sleep world of running a business...
Why are you self-employed?
Some people, once they get a taste for working for themselves, they can never go back. I'm one of those.
What are you most scared of in your work?
Prolonged warm weather puts me on edge - beer prefers to be cold and heat-waves complicate this.
What keeps you motivated?
The business and industry is SO exciting. Being motivated is easy as a result.
What has your work revealed to you about yourself?
Much to my own / my family's / my old tutor’s / my old boss's / everyone's surprise, it turns out I'm not bone idle after all, rather quite the workaholic.
Why would someone choose to live and work in Cornwall?
I think this ties in so closely with working for yourself. For some people, once you've lived here (and I was born and raised in Falmouth), you realise that there's nowhere else quite like it. It's true though, the opportunities in this neck of the woods are fewer and further apart, but who cares, you can just go out and make your own!
How do you stay connected to the outdoors?
In that little bit of space between taking gravity measurements of beer and deliveries and keeping my paperwork pile in check, I manage to shoehorn in just enough fishing and cycling and camping to keep a boy sane. It helps that I keep a couple of fishing rods in the delivery van, and that I get to cruise around the whole county dropping beer off to customers - if I can grab a pasty and can spot a good looking fishing mark on my travels then I'll hit pause for 20 minutes and see what (if any) fish are around.
How does the outdoors affect you?
In some strange way, the wilderness is always on my mind. I figure the harder I work right now, the better I'll be able to enjoy the outdoors when the moment's right. So in the wind and rain swept Cornish winter, when I'm wet and only slowly warming up in the van, or when we're cold (but not scared) in the brewhouse; I keep in mind that in a couple of months this remote peninsular I call home will be my playground all over again!